Revision of yardstick for benthic invertebrates in Flemish fresh and weakly brackish tidal water bodies

Project Details


The European Water Framework Directive (abbreviated WFD - Directive 2000/60/EC), was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities and came into force on 22/12/2000. The aim of the WFD is to achieve good ecological and chemical status in all European ground and surface waters.

The objective of this assignment is to develop and apply an improved yardstick for the benthic communities of Flemish fresh and weakly brackish tidal water bodies for the next WFD report in spring 2024.

The ecological status of surface waters is determined through monitoring programmes and assessment systems or yardsticks, developed for specified biological quality elements. The assessment of benthic invertebrate communities in freshwater tidal areas was and is difficult because the macrobenthos in the Zeeschelde was severely depleted and the reference status was unprecedented. For the time being, we use IOBS (l'indice oligochètes de bioindication des sédiments; AFNOR, 2002) for this assessment. This parameter is based on the composition of oligochaete communities (ringworms) but we should continue to critically evaluate the assessment based on this method.
Effective start/end date15/05/2331/05/24

Thematic List 2020

  • Water